News & Information

Step into spring with Sac State's Festival of the Arts


The days are getting warmer and Sacramento State is heating things up with the Festival of the Arts, the University’s annual celebration of fine art and design, music, literature, theater and dance. This year’s event runs April 13-16 – a four-day focus on the things that entertain us, enlighten us and enrich our lives.

The University has created a wide-ranging slate of activities and exhibits that offers a variety of styles in all art forms.

Here’s a partial list of activities. A full menu of events and times is available at Many of the exhibits, lectures and readings are free. Tickets for other events are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or


Theatre and Dance

The centerpiece of this year’s Festival is The Wiz. Written by William F. Brown, the soul-music version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz features such hit songs as “Ease on Down the Road.”

The director, Sac State Theatre and Dance Professor Melinda Wilson Ramey, promises this will be a version of The Wiz like no other, incorporating large puppets, multimedia elements, and a nightly “surprise” cameo by prominent members of the University and the Sacramento region.

The Wiz is one of the Festival’s “early starters,” and runs April 8-10, 14-17 and 21-24 in the University Theatre.

Additional Theatre and Dance Performances

Choreographers’ Corner, April 15 and 22 – Learn to dance to “Ease on Down the Road” and join the cast of The Wiz on stage that night for a special encore.

Sacramento Dance Sampler, April 15-16 – Representatives from seven local dance companies offer a taste of various dance styles. Many of the artistic directors are Sac State faculty.



Pacific Guitar Ensemble, Friday, April 15 – Co-founded in 2010 by David Tanenbaum and Marc Teicholz, the group plays a wide repertoire featuring original music by composers like Brazilian guitar legend Sergio Assad, and minimalist Belinda Reynolds, along with fresh arrangements of composers from Bach to Brahms, and Dowland to Rossini.

Additional Music Performances

Sacramento State’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Wednesday, April 13.

Faculty recital, Robin Fisher, Thursday, April 14 – The Sacramento State professor and lyric coloratura soprano performs music from the salon of Jane Austen.

Guest saxophonist Donny McCaslin joins the University’s Jazz Ensembles for a Thursday, April 14 concert.

Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, April 15-17 – Sacramento State’s Opera Theatre steps off campus for its production of this classic opera. Performances are at California Stage, 25th and R streets.

Guest pianist Adam Neiman, Saturday, April 16.


Fine Art and Design

Radical new art created with 3-D software will be exhibited in “The Real-Fake,” another of the Festival’s “early starters,” running April 1-May 28, at Sacramento State’s University Library Gallery. The free exhibit is organized by Sacramento State Art Professor Rachel Clarke and Chicago School of the Art Institute’s Claudia Hart with a reception 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in the gallery and a lecture by Hart at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14 in Kadema Hall 145. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Additional Fine Art and Design Events

Annual Art History Symposium, Saturday, April 16 – “The Real and the Fake” examines themes from “The Real-Fake” exhibit with six guest speakers, including Erkki Huhtamo, media history and theory, UCLA.

The work of photographer Corinne Botz will be exhibited April 11-29, in the Design Gallery, Mariposa Hall room 4000. Botz will also give a lecture and attend an artist’s reception Thursday, April 14.

A ceramics workshop by visiting artist Karren Winograde, Thursday, April 14.

A lecture by ceramist Richard Shaw, Thursday, April 14, including an artist’s reception.

Many exhibits, lectures and receptions by students and visiting artists in Kadema Hall’s Else and Witt galleries.



Author Peter Grandbois, author of The Gravedigger, The Arsenic Lobster: A Hybrid Memoir, and Nahoonkara, will speak in the Library Gallery on Friday, April 15. Grandbois has been recognized by Barnes and Noble in its “Discover Great New Writers” and by Borders Books’ “Original Voices.”

Additional Literature Events

Readings by Sacramento State alumni James Benton, Shadi Gex and John Daulton will be held Wednesday, April 13.

Claudia Keelan, author of six books of poetry, including The Secularist, will read some of her works Thursday, April 14.

Acclaimed poet Joseph Lease, author of Broken World, will read selections from his work on Saturday, April 16.


Additional Events

Japanese tea ceremonies, Thursday, April 14, University Library’s Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden.

“Depth of Field: 30 Years of Photography and Multimedia,” the work of former Sacramento State photographer Sam Parsons, April 1-30, Library Gallery Annex.

A “Discussion of Vietnamese and Thai Cuisine and Culture,” by Mai Pham, Wednesday, April 13, Library Gallery.

More details are available at For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.